Category Archives: lu text lost and found

LUText Lost & Found

Whilst Lancaster has thus far avoided any of the scenes that have blighted some of our Mancunian fellow-institutions (as far as we are aware, none of Lancaster’s students have been forced to remain within their accommodation by Security), we are not above charging self-isolating students £17.95 per day for food parcels; packages that, when purchased from Asda, are apparently worth £2.70 a meal. A bold move. The full story is available at:

According to annual monitoring data sent by Lancaster to the Office for Students, just 11% of the students we admitted in 2018–19 were from the most deprived quintile of households:

It’s difficult to see this figure changing any time soon.


Former Lancaster Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof Richard B Davies seems to be making waves as Swansea’s VC:


After a short absence, subtext’s repository of Lancaster’s mentions in the national press that inexplicably weren’t picked up by VickyText’s media roundup returns.

When the VC said he wanted Lancaster to become a university famed for its sporting activities, we’re not sure that this is what he had in mind.

(We were also in the Mail and the Sun… but we decided we didn’t want to give them the ad money by linking to them.)


The Complete University Guide 2019 is out. If you click on ‘Lancaster University,’ you’ll see a big list of reasons to enrol. One such offering? ‘The Graduate Ball.’ D’oh!

The fact that we are the first UK University to face legal action over loss of teaching provision during strike action has caught the attention of the student media at our comparator institutions:, (see subtext 177 for our report on the case.)

Gary Neville, who is literally a business partner of the University of Lancaster, which is soon to set up a literal university with him, continues to prove his worth.

Private Eye’s architectural columnist has thrown their penneth worth in on student housing developments in university cities, singling out Lancaster as the ‘locus classicus of student housing blight […] pock-marked by mini-hi-rise incongruities.’ The piece, which concludes by calling on university chancellors to wake up ‘to the architectural vandalism they are allowing’, can be found in the latest edition of the mag.


LU Text isn’t perfect, and in trying to provide a weekly roundup of Lancaster’s mentions in the press, it is inevitably going to miss the odd story here and there. Hence, we produce LU Text Lost and Found with only the most collegial intentions at heart.

First up, the Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that the ex-footballer and devoted philanthropist Gary Neville, who readers may know as our business partner in a venture to set up a new university in Manchester, has landed himself in trouble with the Advertising Standards Agency. It turns out that the prospectus for UA92 is wooing potential learners with multiple all weather 3G pitches, even though they have only sought planning permission for one, and the permission hasn’t even been granted yet. Come on Gary, get your head in the game!

Those who enjoyed our analysis of the gender pay gap at Lancaster (the third largest in the UK) might also enjoy the Times Higher’s report on it.


Once again, subtext brings you the stories you won’t read in the leftist MSM (well, in LU Text, anyway). There is a double page spread in the latest edition of the Big Issue about the Gary Neville University, focussing on the Stretford residents’ opposition to the project. We could upload some photos of the relevant pages, but we’d rather our readers purchased a copy from their local vendor.

Our soon to be illustrious leader Gary Neville has been profiled by the BBC, in a long article about his business successes. According to Auntie, we are in safe hands. You can read it at

The piece also links to some related articles, such as ‘Council pitches plan backed by Neville is opposed’, ‘Neville and Giggs’ £200m Manchester plan opposed again’, and ‘Ex-Manchester United stars’ university plan revised.’


Those who follow us on Facebook ( – you really should ‘like us’, we occasionally update the page and everything!) will have seen our latest takedown of the fake news media.

This time the culprit was the Times, which had the temerity to suggest that our Vice-Chancellor would be so fiscally reckless as to support further negotiations between UCU and UUK. As we noted on Facebook, the VC vehemently denied these claims at a subsequent meeting of the Senate, deeming UCU’s demands too expensive for the university to afford. But coverage is coverage, and if LU Text isn’t going to acknowledge Lancaster’s contribution to the public discourse, then subtext will:


From the top table to the student body, everyone is working hard to get the Lancaster brand out there. Yesterday, the Lancaster Guardian ran a story on the student body’s mobilisation in support of the strikes. Yes, in lieu of a stance/spine from the Students’ Union, students have independently organised an impressive campaign of support – they have set up a Facebook page (, and so far nearly 700 students have signed an open letter to the VC in support of staff ( This is highly impressive work for an ad hoc group of students (imagine how much more support the campaign would have if the pathetic Students’ Union had taken a meaningful stance), and that LU Text hasn’t mentioned this coverage of enterprising Lancaster students is a mystery to us(!):



In subtext 171 we reported an attempt by a Stretford resident to obtain more information on UA92 via a Freedom of Information request to the University. Despite being given the old ‘commercial in confidence’ brush off, the resident persisted, with follow-up questions seeking more detail relating to the University’s first response. The information revealed in that reply is intriguing. The resident wanted to know what market research had been conducted which convinced the University that UA92 was a viable proposition. It turns out the answer was… not very much.

Lancaster regularly carries out research into the national student market and it was information from this, rather than anything specifically relating to UA92 and Stretford, that informed its decision to go ahead. Despite the claims made by Gary Neville and his pals that local young people would benefit from UA92, it turns out that they will not be targeted any more than those in the UK as a whole. The only differentiation in projected numbers is between ‘domestic’ and ‘international’. Then there is the matter of student retention, already a cause for concern for the Bailrigg campus. According to the publicity, potential UA92 students will be ‘non-traditional’ in that they are less likely to aspire to a university education and will not have the qualifications to enter ‘traditional’ HE. These are precisely the type of students likely to drop out, yet Lancaster’s projections for UA92, according to the FOI response, are based on ‘average non-continuation rates informed by HEFCE’s data’. In other words, the University is assuming that the UA92 drop-out rate will be in line with that of the sector as a whole.

The Stretford resident also wanted to know what information had been gathered on students’ likely disposable income, on car ownership, on public transport usage, on local domicile – all those factors that would justify Trafford Council’s contention that UA92 would be a key driver for local regeneration. The University’s response was that no research had been conducted in any of these areas. So, what justifies Trafford Council’s optimism? Have they conducted their own research, or have they, like Lancaster, been swayed by the charm and celebrity of Gary and the boys? No doubt these and other UA92 questions will be on the minds of voters in the May local elections, where ‘Tory flagship council’ Trafford could be lost to Labour. Should that happen, we’ll be into a whole new ball game,as they say.

(With thanks to the excellent ‘M32 Stretford Masterplan and UA92’ discussion group on Facebook for this information)



In what we think was its first mention of the Gary Neville University since the story broke a year ago, SCAN ran a head to head, ‘for / against’ opinion piece on the subject. subtext readers may be surprised to see that the author of the ‘against’ piece was a member of staff, not least a member of staff who was happy to be named (‘big shoutout’ to Dr Jacob Phelps, FST). More surprising, however, was that the ‘for’ piece came from an anonymous source. Not only was SCAN unable to find someone willing to put their name to a defense of the Gary Neville University, SCAN was unable to find a member of staff to write one! The author refers to themself as ‘a student’. Is UA92 so embarrassing that even students won’t put their name to opinion pieces defending it, or did SCAN get so close to the deadline without someone willing to support it that they hastily ghostwrote any old bobbins?

Whoever wrote the piece claimed that the ‘naysayers have given no clear, coherent argument against UA92…’

Clearly they haven’t been reading subtext for the past year!



The public pressure against the Class of ‘92 continues to mount, and it continues to make the national press. This time, campaigners are unhappy with the idea of Gary Neville & co taking over Turn Moss, which is green belt land and a habitat of local wildlife. By our count, the Class of ‘92 has had to withdraw and rejig every bit of planning permission they’ve applied for, and their property development efforts are become increasingly unwelcome and irritating to residents, as reported in a number of national media organs:


The final issue of term sees the welcome return of LU Text Lost and Found, subtext’s repository of Lancaster related news stories that somehow didn’t find their way into LU Text’s ‘Lancaster in the Media’ roundup.

Alan Milburn, our esteemed Chancellor, made headlines last week when he resigned as Chair of the government’s Social Mobility Commission in protest at No. 10’s failure to tackle inequality. Some might view this as a bit of vainglorious ostentation from a man who was up for renewal in his post and didn’t fancy his chances, others might view it is a principled refusal to continue reaching out to a government that failed to listen. Regardless of his motives, our Chancellor has made waves, and put inequality on the agenda:

And finally, you won’t believe what the Daily Express had to say about THIS fair and wise university Pro-Chancellor! Yes, our very own Lord Liddle found an interview he gave on Sky News being quoted by the Daily Express. According to the paper, he made the SHOCK claim that ‘Britain should have ANOTHER Brexit vote.’ His exact words, for the record, were ‘I’m not saying there SHOULD be a second referendum but I think that the idea that we voted finally in June 2016 and there is no possibility of ever changing that – I don’t actually think that’s democratic.’


It’s interesting that LUText, in celebrating its 800th issue, should claim some kind of lineal descent from InkyText, the highly unofficial newsletter edited and mostly written by the late Gordon Inkster until 2000. LUText’s forerunner ‘Vickytext’ may well have been named with InkyText in mind, but as anyone who clicks on the link thoughtfully provided in LUText will discover, the two publications were radically different in content and style. For one thing, InkyText was funny; for another, it was about as far as anything could be from a vehicle for central management to initiate a ‘conversation with staff’. Indeed, management did try to co-opt InkyText into its structure, at one point offering to Gordon accreditation to report on Council meetings. This he declined, in his typically courteous manner. In subtext’s review of Marion McClintock’s excellent 2011 history of the university, Shaping the Future, we described InkyText as ‘subtext’s great predecessor’(subtext 84).

Even if we’re often not funny, we’d still like to think that subtext has a more legitimate claim to ancestry and inspiration.



If nothing else, LUText’s small mention will have at least given readers cause to delve into the archive of Gordon Inkster’s incredible body of work, which can be marvelled at here: